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Stroke Campaign Already Helping Local Patients

For Immediate Release: January 14, 2019

Thanks to the community’s investment in the Campaign for Stroke Care, ValleyCare Charitable Foundation raised an unprecedented amount to bring a much-needed program to the Tri-Valley community.

The Campaign was launched this summer with a leadership gift and a matching challenge from Joan and Lynn Seppala. Hundreds of community members – including the Dublin, Livermore, and Pleasanton Mayors – helped raise over $640,000. The donations were hard at work during the last quarter of 2018 and provided critical funding for new, cutting-edge equipment; training for front-line clinical staff members and Hospital employees; the addition of key roles to the Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare team; the implementation of new care and transfer protocols; and the launch of TeleNeurology and stroke-response procedures (known as Stroke Alerts) on Monday, December 17. Since the launch of TeleNeurology, there have been 13 Stroke Alerts, 12 for patients who walked into the Emergency Department (ED) and one for an inpatient.

Two days after the launch, the stroke team treated our first TeleNeurology patient, a 58-year-old male from Pleasanton. He presented to the ED with stroke-like symptoms. The nurses and the physicians recognized his symptoms and activated the Stroke Alert. The new protocols worked perfectly, and the patient was examined by the Stanford Neurology team in Palo Alto utilizing the new TeleNeurology robot. The patient received the clot-busting medication shortly after arriving in the ED. Less than two days later, Shaké Sulikyan, Executive Director of ValleyCare Charitable Foundation, watched the patient “walk out of the Hospital (unaided) to go home. It was absolutely incredible!”

“I just want to personally thank the donors for their continued contribution and support of this hospital and our community. One success story is already complete!” stated Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare’s Stroke Program Manager, Denise Ferrer, on December 20.

Thanks to the Campaign, Tri-Valley residents already have access to life-saving care, close to home. They also have access to the world-renowned care in Palo Alto. Since going live with the TeleNeurology program, one local patient was transferred to Palo Alto via helicopter for higher-level care. And the local team is working toward the goal of becoming a Primary Stroke Center in 2019, gaining certification from The Joint Commission that will allow the Hospital to begin accepting ambulances transporting stroke patients.

“Thanks to the generosity of the community, community leaders, and the major gifts from the Seppalas, we have been able to put in place the necessary components to provide acute care to stroke patients in the community,” says Dr. Prashanth Krishnamohan, Medical Director of Neurology, Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare, and Clinical Assistant Professor, Neurology & Neurological Sciences, Stanford University. “The longer it takes a stroke patient to receive care, the more damage to their brain. We know that for every 15 minutes’ acceleration in treatment, out of 1,000 patients, 4 more lives are saved, 18 more patients walk unaided, and 7 more patients are discharged home rather than to a rehabilitation or longterm care facility. Timely access to acute stroke care can be the difference between a full recovery, a lifetime of disability, or death.”

“We are honored by the support we have received from the community for the Campaign for Stroke Care, which ended on December 31 st ,” says Sulikyan. “While we are excited to launch the acute care component of the stroke program, the vision for the Campaign was to become a leading provider of cutting-edge stroke care, including offering state-of-the-art rehabilitation services and other stroke support services within our community. The $360,000 shortfall in our fundraising means we won’t be able to fund the support services at this time; however, we will continue to accept donations to the Stroke Program and will work to bring leading-edge rehabilitation services, support group(s), and multidisciplinary care to stroke survivors in our community.”

For more information, please contact ValleyCare Charitable Foundation at either or 925-373-4560.

Prashanth Krishnamohan, MD, standing, along with Christina Mijalski Sells, MD, MPH, a Clinical Assistant Professor in Neurology at Stanford University and Telestroke Program Medical Director at Stanford School of Medicine, on the robot screen, examines a mock patient, Jeanette Kitt, RN, BSN, CCRN, Nurse Educator at Stanford Health Care – ValleyCare in Pleasanton, during a simulation. (Photo credit: Doug Jorgensen, The Independent)


ValleyCare Charitable Foundation (VCCF) is an independent, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to the health and betterment of the Tri-Valley through our ongoing funding of our community hospital and its innovative medical programs. Forward thinking and community-driven, we help ensure that you and your loved ones have access to world-class medical care and life-saving technology.


Contact: Gayle Cowan, Administrative Assistant

Phone: (925) 373-4560